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History of Art in Africa

ISBN: 9780131833562 | 0131833561
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: PENGUIN
Pub. Date: 1/1/2001

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Informed by the latest scholarship yet written for the general reader, this is the first comprehensive book to present the arts of Africa in art-historical terms. The authors treat individual pieces as tangible manifestations of changing beliefs and customs, as products of complex cultural interactions, as expressions of historical and economic realities, and as creations of gifted individuals, and in so doing brilliantly offer up African art on its own terms. Organized in five major parts, A History of Art in Africa covers every corner of the continent, including Egypt, from prehistory to the present day and includes the art of the African diaspora. The Islamic influence and the Christian arts of Ethiopia and Nubia are treated as fully African expressions, as are tourist arts and the fascinating hybrid art that periodically arose from interaction with Europe. All art forms are given equal consideration: from such familiar categories as sculpture to such quintessentially African forms as masquerades, festivals, and personal and domestic adornment. The arts of daily life, of royal ceremony, and of state cosmology also receive compelling discussions. And throughout, the authors emphasize the cultural contexts in which art is produced and imbued with meaning. Contemporary art forms are explored both as part of the living splendors of modern Africa and as ingenious responses to the experience of diaspora. The illustrations present a vast and rich range of images, including superb colorplates of artworks, archival and contemporary field photographs, explanatory drawings and plans, and individual objects displayed in museums and in use. Book jacket.

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